DS sent across the world to PIL(107 Posts)
First time poster on here but have been a lurker for a while. I'm just needing some advice.
DS is less than a month old. MIL lives in South Africa. My DH is talking about sending DS there to spend time with his grandmother in school holidays, for the whole of the school holidays, every year. This will be years from now, he will be 12 onwards. I just have major issues with this and have voiced them to DH only for it to be met on deaf ears. My beef with this is that I just don't want to part with my son for a whole month of the year, every year. I know it sounds selfish but I can't help it. My other concerns are...what if he doesn't want to go? At 12 he's going to have friends he wants to spend time with, clubs or sports he's doing. Also...putting a 12 year old on a plane for an 11 hour flight alone? Really?? If that had been me I'd have been so frightened! I have suggested we make it a family holiday with all 3 of us but we aren't always going to be able to afford that. MIL put pressure on us to have grandchildren since we were married and I'm not sure how much of this is her influence, I had a baby because I wanted one, not for her sake! I want him to have the experiences going over there and spending time with DHs side of the family but a whole month at a time is just too much and doesn't then give us ability to use summer holidays for other places we might want to go on holiday.
Appreciate it's years from now and I can't imagine that DH will have the same views when it comes to it as he will realise the circumstances are different to what he's imagining. But I'd like some views of other non biased and non hormonal people just to make sure I'm not just being an over protective mumma bear.
I used to go to Ireland to grandparents every 6 week holiday once I started school. We loved it
Though you have 12 years to decide so shh think about it now
I think wait and see. I used to go to America by myself (airlines do a great unaccompanied children programme) every summer for several weeks starting at age 9/10.
With a under one month baby you will have huge protective feelings over I wouldn't even think about it now.
I don't think YABU. I would hate to send DD away for 6 weeks of the year.
By the time he is 12 you may all think it's a brilliant idea. Why worry about what's going to happen in 12 years' time?
Not in a million years would I agree to that.
And you don't have to. Parenting is a joint endeavour and I always recommend compromise however that doesn't mean you can't draw lines in the sand.
I would make sure you state your feelings very clearly on this point now.
However to put things in perspective, 12 years is a long time, who knows what will have happened by then.
Is it just DH talking about it or is MIL putting pressure on too? Because while I can imagine DH changing his mind about sending his son away for weeks at a time every year, if MIL has it fixed in her mind then expectation will only build if you don't address it now.
Make it clear you're not agreeing to anything yet, but maybe leave the way open for talking about it again at some point in the future.
I spent a couple (not all) of summers in Spain with my father's family as a teenager. Maybe 3.5/4 weeks at a time.
I loved it and it let me get to really know them and the area.
Your son may or may not want this - why not wait and see? If a month is too long you/he may feel 3 weeks is doable. Or you could all go out together and he could come home a couple of weeks after you. Lots of possibilities.
It is not surprising that you find this terrifying - your son is a tiny baby. I couldn't even leave mine to go to the shops at that point! You feelings regarding this will change as he gets older, even though you love him as much. Who knows, by the time he's 14 you may be glad to send him to get him off the X box and away from his dodgy mates
Suggest you revisit again in 12 years.
Congratulations on your new baby.
Really don't worry about this for now and avoid any discussions/ arguments about it with your partner. His mother, for various reasons, might not even be in a position to have your DS to stay for a month at a time in 12 yrs time - who knows what her circumstances will be then.
I really wouldn't have wanted either of my DC to go away for a month at 12 yo but it's very hard to imagine ever letting your DC go when they are tiny babies.
Just enjoy him for now and try and stop worrying about things that might never happen.
Of course you want to spend the holidays with your ds. You don't have to send him away. I don't like the thought of my ds (3) going away with my in laws now or in the future. I completely understand your upset. Others may have enjoyed the experience but it's not for everyone.
Tell your dh to stop talking about it as it's upsetting you and making you worry at a time when you should be concentrating on caring for and enjoying your newborn.
From people I know, this is quite common in some cultures Grandparents bring up the kids in their home town, and parents travel /live away for work.
It's not my choice. But I do know people who have done it from much younger than 12.
I would make it clear you are uncomfortable with the idea at the moment, but will be happy to discuss in a decade. A lot can happen in that time.
For the moment, enjoy your baby (and watch out for a proposal of a 3 month visit from MiL)
In 12 years time you may fancy a couple of weeks to yourself (I personally wouldn't do more than a fortnight) or you may not. You could all go for holidays and leave him there for a few extra weeks.
Anyway as he's not even a month old what you need to do is start practising your boundaries and saying no. Learn to be strong in your own choices in a calm manner. Have some stock phrases that you could use and practise them in your head. You are the boss!
I wouldn't give it a thought, it's 12 years away. Seems strange to worry about it now.
I have a 12 yo , he would hate to go away for so long and so would I .
Does your husband usually ignore what you say ?
There really isn't any point worrying about this now or arguing about it for the next 12 years - why not just revisit it in a decade? For what it's worth, I think it would be great for any 12 year old - we were sent away to family for the long holidays from a much younger age and loved it! But I think you are probably unable to separate the newborn your DS is now with the nearly teenager he will be then so just let it go until you need to.
As my Granny would say "Don't borrow problems from tomorrow".
You have no idea how you'll feel in 12 years about the tiny baby you're now holding and (rightly) feeling protective of. You'll be amazed at how your own feelings shift as they grow and become more independent. I'm an expat and friends often send children aged 8 and up unaccompanied to the UK, france etc (from HK) for 3+ weeks with grandparents so they can maximise holiday and reconnect with extended family when parents only have 2 weeks or so vacation.
At the moment, DS and MIL dont have a relationship, but they will have. Despite living so far away, my DC love seeing their GP. It's really lovely.
Plus, so much can happen in12 years- MIL could die, you and Dh might get divorced- hopefully neither of those things but you know what I'm saying. Basically, no point in stressig about it now.
He's a tiny baby right now. Who knows what will happen in 12 years time. We have a niece come over for a few weeks every holiday. She came for the first time at 13, however, at this age she was dropped off and picked up. Fil brought her and her parents picked her up as they could drive over as she's from France. She flew unaccompanied at 14.
My dd is 8 and I'd not yet be happy to discuss the sort of arrangement where she flies half way round the world at 12. But there's still 4 more years to go and by that age, she will be at secondary school and far more autonomous.
What your dh is proposing may never happen. Being practical, your mil may become ill or die. What your dh possibly doesn't know is that until he is an adult, your son needs permission of both parents to leave British soil. So you can always veto this request.
Anyway, it is so far in the distant future that for now, it is best to tell your dh that this isn't something, you can discuss right now. Enjoy your precious baby and wonderful baby smells.
I wouldn't want to send my DCs unless I knew DGM well and the place they would be staying well.
Surely when the time comes you could go too for at least several weeks of the visit if you wanted to?
It is too far away to worry about. Anything could have happened by then.
There isn't any point arguing about this now. But also there is no point seemingly going along with it. Because the expectation will be there.
No one knows what will happen in 12 years time. Your miles may not feel up to having a teen for 6 weeks by then.
I would say that I am not happy about it and don't want it to happen but there's no point arguing about it at the moment. But I would make clear that while some people maybe happy with it, I am not.
It's OK saying 12 years is a long way off. But it absolutely flies.
I have a 12 year old. This wouldn't be happening here and she wouldn't want to.
I'm more concerned about your DH not listening to you - it's your decision too.
It's not something I would want to do, so in that sense I think YANBU. However, things may be very different in 12 years. As DS is so young, it's natural for being away from him to seem inconceivable now.
Much too soon to be having this fight. So much could happen between then and now, including the grandparents no longer being around!
Don't waste your energy, or get upset now - just nod and smile and say "when the time comes, we'll talk about it".
I don't think I'd like to do it, but by then I might feel differently. My Ds1 is still only just coming up to 9 (but is already a seasoned traveller, going between Australia and the UK every year - with me and his little brother though!) - if he wanted to go to the UK by himself for 6 weeks, to stay with my Dad, I guess I'd let him because he knows Dad, my sister would be close by, he knows the area etc. BUT I wouldn't bow to any diktats from my Dad or anyone else that he HAD to do it - no chance!
I thînk you need to nip it in the bud now and say, when DS is 12 we will ask him what he wants. Let's be honest, in twelve years MIL may not be able to cope for a month, he may refuse to leave his mates for a month, he may not want to go to the other side of the world to spend time with a much older relative in a strange country for a week let alone all the school holidays every month.
Seriously I think it is unlikely to happen more than perhaps once......at most.
Seems really odd to me. I wouldn't agree to this in a million years even if it was potentially in 12 years time!
I think many new parents look at their baby and see a future, envision how life will work.
Don't worry, in few years' time you will have completely snapped out of it. Your child will have his own personality and the days of you envisioning what will happen at 12 will be limited to those stroppy, sulky toddler tantrums where you realise this will be his teen angst, only tenfold.
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